Installing a LS1 Motor in my 1977 Camaro-Part 9


I had the polished coil covers, the air intake, the fuel rails, the fuel fittings, and the oil cap chromed. Easier to keep up chrome than polished items plus the chromer was very reasonable on his pricing and had the parts done when he said they would be done.

First up I installed the Professional Products fuel rails so I could plug in the injectors and complete the wiring. I also installed new O rings on the injectors.

After running the wiring on the driver’s side and hooking up the throttle body connections, the alternator and the water temp sensor for the computer, I could see where the air intake temp sensor had to be mounted in my newly chromed air intake tube. Kind of scary drilling a hole in it, but it was done and the air temp sensor was hooked up.

The MAF sensor was now in the front corner on the driver’s side. Since I did not want wires showing for it, I ran them back to the rear of the motor, along the firewall and tucked them into the wiring tube that was hidden above the inner fender. I also cleaned up the wiring around the brake vacuum booster. Here are before and after pics. There was a wiring tube running along the top of the left inner fender that I hid by removing the mounting bolts for the inner fender, pushing it down and placing the wires under the outer fender above the inner fender. Much cleaner look.

Running the wires for the O2 sensors was next. Since both the factory oil pressure and water temp senders were needed by the computer, for my gauges I wired in the oil pressure sender and water temp sensors that I had installed earlier on. By contacting Brendan Patten at LT1 Swap.Com, I had my question answered about which AC wires needed to be hooked up. Both the a/c
request and a/c clutch status wires were looking for 12V when the compressor was on. Hooked them up and the AC has been working well.

Less successful was the wiring for the speedometer signal. My Autometer speedo gauge needs a 8K pulse signal while the computer needs a 4k pulse signal. I purchased a Dakota Digital SGI-5 converter which gives multiple out signals, wired it up per instructions and my speedometer does not work. Still sorting this out.

The relays for the fuel pump and the computer were installed near the AC and heater hose plumbing and are hidden by the cover in the lower passenger side near the firewall. I had a number of 12V constant wires that needed to be run and needed a terminal block. I was driving past a stereo store and inspirations struck. Sure enough, they had what I needed. I mounted them on the inside of the frame extender, ran the wires there and hooked everything up. After snapping on the covers, I tie wrapped them to make sure they would stay. Since the wires had to cross over the exhaust pipes, I insulated some of the wiring under the car.

Finally, it was time to turn on the ignition. My friend Reese came over to help. He turned on the key so I could set the fuel pressure and check for leaks. After adjusting the pressure to 58PSI, I found that I had a serious leak on one of the fuel rails. Upon removing the fitting, it was discovered that the threads had stripped. Earlier on one of the forum threads about the installation of the motor, two people had said that every time they had used the Professional Products fuel rails, they had leaked. One of these guys was Nate at Nasty Performance. After talking with Nate, I ordered a set of his fuel rails. Nate has been doing LS conversions for 12 years and had stated that his rails were superior in design and quality. Instead of pipe fittings, they use O-ring fittings for their connections. Nate overnighted them to me and they were soon on. Turned on the key and no leaks. Nate’s claims were valid and they are much better than the other fuel rails.

Now we were ready to start the motor. Reese turned the key to start and …..nothing! Turns out your dufus writer had not run a wire to the solenoid from the ignition switch. And, to make matters worse, he was not sure which wire was the correct one. By now it was late in the day on Wednesday afternoon and I was done for the day. Two days to get the car running for the Autofair car show.

Talked with my son Matt that evening. He was planning on coming over the next day to help anyway. He works for the Red Bull NASCAR team which was traveling to Bristol later that day so he could help until about 3:00PM. After some searching, reading diagrams, and using the test meter, we found the correct wire. I hooked it up and the starter motor was running but did not engage the flywheel. Matt had driven his 1979 El Camino in which we had installed a LS1 about two years ago. Got the trusty flashlight and checked to see which terminal his wired was connected to. Seems there is a small terminal in the center of the solenoid which is the correct one. Hooked up the wire, cranked the ignition and the motor went VROOOM!! It was alive!! Oil pressure was good and the temp gauge was working.

By now it was lunch time. Matt has all the AC charging equipment so we hooked up the vacuum pump and let it run while we went to McDonald’s. By the time we returned, we had a vacuum. Matt suggested that we drive the car to make sure it was working before we charged the AC system. We took a short drive and all seemed well. We charged the AC and finished up just in time for Matt to catch his ride to Bristol.

Since this was Thursday afternoon, our weekly cruise in at the local Sonic that evening was the next goal. I gave the car a quick wash and drove it to Sonic with the hood off. It sure felt good to actually drive the car.

The next day I worked on the wiring mess in the lower corner on the passengerside where all the connections were made. After zip tieing the wires, I placed them in protective covers, re-installed the cover over the AC and heater hose plumbing, and tidied up a few other areas. I spent the rest of the day detailing the interior, the trunk and the engine bay in preparation for driving the car to the Autofair car show. Reese came over to help put the hood on and it was ready to go.

Now all the car had to do was make it to the show.

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2 Comments

  1. Magnificent site. Plenty of useful info here. I am sending it to several buddies ans additionally sharing in delicious. And obviously, thank you on your sweat!


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